# Lec 2 - Social Choice and Suffrage 1/13/09 Theory of Social...

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Social Choice and Suffrage 1/13/09

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Theory of Social Choice Background Social efficiency (social utility): ‘”greatest satisfaction of the greatest number of individuals.” Utility--level of satisfaction Spatial model as a map of the political universe Do you buy it?
Theory of Social Choice U(W) = ∑ d i |i - W| U= negative utility (disutility) W= winner (winning policy) ∑= sum d i = distance between each voter i and the winner W. Social choice goal: minimize d (social optimum)

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Theory of Social Choice One linear dimension: Sum of d i minimized by the alternative preferred by median voter. Median voter: the voter whose preference is located in an intermediate position, with less that half the voters on both sides. Social efficiency=median voter’s preference
Minimize the disutility (U(W) = ∑ d i |i - W|) U(B) = |a-b|+|b-b|+|c-b| = 1+0+2 = 3 U(A) = |a-a|+|b-a|+|c-a| = 0+1+3 = 4 U(C) = |a-c|+|b-c|+|c-c| = 3+2+0 = 5 a c b 1 2

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Median voter in
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## Lec 2 - Social Choice and Suffrage 1/13/09 Theory of Social...

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